4 Things You Shouldn't Miss on a Bacolod Weekend
For a city called the City of Smiles, Bacolod is a little melancholic. This city in the Philippines will remind you of days long gone and take you back to an age when things are simpler.
Escaping Manila’s torrential rains a few weeks ago, I leave for Bacolod on a gloomy Friday night. At a little past 7, the plane took off for a place where good food, refreshing sceneries and soothing old-world vibe await.
The inception of Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road created a transportation convenience for all travelers and locals alike. Considered the gateway to the province of Negros Occidental and 55 minutes away from the capital of Manila, Bacolod City is one worth a weekend jaunt.
Straight out of the airport, I directly headed to Chicken House where I tasted the city’s famous Chicken Inasal (marinated grilled chicken). Found at 24th Lacson St., this main branch of Chicken House first opened in 1982. Missing out a bite of Bacolod’s chicken inasal is like missing the essence of the city.
For a pastry shop, Bob’s Restaurant serves mouth-watering dishes. Their Sate Babe is so good and the perfect value for money.
When it comes to dessert places, Bacolod is the ideal place. Drop by Felicia’s and get a slice of chocolate cake. Drive by Quan, located along #3 La Salle Avenue, and stay for their delicacies where you can grab a delicious bite for as low as P10.
Make sure you snag a box of Merzci’s Napoleones for pasalubong.
At 1,200 feet above sea level, Mambukal Resort at Murcia is a place where weariness seems to just melt away. Serving as the entrypoint to Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park, this resort was developed by Kokichi Paul Ishiwata, a Japanese architect. At 23.6 hectares, Mambukal is a place where you can just breathe and relax. A dip on its numerous hot springs will give you the respite you need from city stress.
The wide expanse of sugarcanes en route to this sanctuary is all the reminder you need why the City of Smiles is also called the Sugarbowl of the Philippines.
A few hours after the sun sets, I changed my mind about the mellow vibe of the city. Party goers and revellers will not find Bacolod lacking. It was on a Saturday night when I witnessed Portico Café, found at 23rd Lacson St., came alive with good music and a diverse community.
We’re all probably familiar about the history of the Taj Mahal of Agra, as it is one the Seven Wonders of the World. We know that it was love and loss that built the magnificent mausoleum. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to their 14th child.
The Negrenses have their own version of this tragic story. As a self-confessed romantic, this is probably the reason why I went to Bacolod. Famous for being the Taj Mahal of Negros, The Ruins has its own beautiful story to tell.
Sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson was on a trip to Hong Kong when he happened upon the beautiful Portuguese Maria Braga.
The two fell in love. Don Mariano then brought his wife to Talisay where they had an amazing married life up until their 11th child. Maria slipped in the bathroom and started to bleed. She and her baby died while being taken-cared of by Don Mariano as it took the physician, on a horse-drawn carriage, two days to arrive.
As a tribute to her wife, with support from his father-in-law, Don Mariano built the two-story mansion in three years.
It was during World War II that the mansion became The Ruins. Visit this one-of-a-kind destination and make sure you sit in for the history lesson.